If you want to instill good values in your children, then the sooner you start, the better.
That being said, if your kids are a little older and you are becoming worried about their behavior, there is still time to turn things around.
Discover all the best techniques for instilling good values in your children, with practical advice that is easy to adapt to your lifestyle.
Be clear about your values
The first step in instilling good values in your children is to be clear about what your values are. Each family is different so make sure you are explicitly clear about what you expect from your children and how you want them to behave.
It can be useful to think about what matters most to you. For example, do you want your children to have integrity above all else? Be kind to others?
Practice what you preach
You cannot expect your children to behave in a certain way and have good values if you are not showing them how to.
Children learn by example so you need to make sure that you and your partner are practicing what you preach and that you actively show them how they should act and behave in everyday life.
Resist the urge to lecture
Parents often find themselves falling into the trap of lecturing their children rather than allowing them to learn for themselves.
Rather than scolding your child when they act out of character or do something that you find unacceptable, it is much better to ask them questions about their behavior so that they can understand the consequences of their choices.
Get involved in your local community
One of the easiest ways to instill good values in your children is to get them involved in the local community from an early age.
This could involve volunteering for a local project, helping out at a nearby charity shop, or organizing fundraising events.
There are also a number of national charities, such as the American Red Cross that are in need of help in the form of donations and volunteers.
Use discussion starters
Discussion starters provide a great way to get your children thinking about how to make moral choices and can be highly effective for all ages.
It can be a good idea for younger children to read them books that encourage them to ask important questions about the world, as this can be character-building.
For older children, you may want to share an ethical dilemma over the dinner table and ask them what they think and how they would act if they were in the same situation.
Teach them to have empathy
Empathy is an important emotion and the foundation for compassion everyone should have. Although you can’t teach a child how to have empathy purely by telling them to feel it, you can help them learn how to have empathy towards others through your own actions.
Make sure that you always treat others with kindness and empathy, and your children should follow suit.